(18) She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
(19) She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
(20) She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
::Disclaimer:: I'm a little out of it today, so this may or may not make sense....
Today, who sits down and does the bills? The Husband, usually. Who does the spending? The Wife, usually. What's wrong with this picture? Why is it that generally only the husband knows how well off they are, or how in debt they are, and yet it's the Wife who does about 95% of the spending? Shouldn't they both know whether they need "tighten their belts", and if so, exactly how much? And yet, the wife is usually in the dark about it.
I think that this whole next chunk has to do with finances. It calls us women to not be blind as to what is happening with the money that her husband makes. Not to be ignorant and content to just simply spend, spend, spend.
It commands us to use our money wisely("She perceives that her merchandise is profitable"). Not to waste it on things that she herself could easily-and is expected to-make herself("She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle"). And to be generous with it to those in need("She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy").
I can't count how many times I've had this happen to me: I go into a store, see something, and think "Oh, that would be SO cute!". I buy it, wear it once, and it ends up in the back of my closet, never to see the daylight again. What a waste.
As stated previously, this verse calls us to use our money wisely. No more wasting it on things that we don't need. No more spending $5 just to get a single-serve packet of Skittles at the Theatre. While yes, we can "treat" ourselves once in a while, we need to realize that the money we're spending is the money that our husbands(Or Dad, if you're not married yet) worked all day for. If they were there right now, would you feel a twinge of guilt buying it? If so, back on the shelf it goes.
Also, what about those who are unfortunate enough NOT to have a source of income? Those who are stuck on the streets with cardboard signs begging us for help?
Now a days, we're a little hesitant to give money to strangers on the street. What are they going to use it to buy? Drugs? Alcohol? How do we help those in need if they're just going to spend it on stuff like that?
While these questions are a little judgmental, you've got to admit. It is a possibility. But there are other alternatives that we can give instead of money. Check out this site: Hope 2 Others it exterminates the fear of what you're giving them ending up being spent on drugs and booze, while still giving you the ability to help them. Definitely something worth looking into.
Overall, just be aware of how you're spending your money. And try to learn a bit about finances now, so that you can understand your husband later on when he's trying to explain taxes to you. Especially with College looming ahead. And be aware of the homeless. Don't ignore them just because you don't know what they will use your money to buy. And if that really is an issue, there are countless other ways to help them. The site I mentioned above is just one of them.